Bilbao City Hall
Located on the right bank of the Estuary of Bilbao, across from the Puente del Ayuntamiento bridge, Bilbao's elegant city hall, in the Plaza Erkoreka Ernesto, dates from 1892 and was designed by Joaquin Rucoba. The Baroque building includes a spire and a magnificent façade featuring balconies, columns, numerous sculptures and a sweeping staircase. The highlight of the interior is the 'Arab Room', an opulently decorated chamber used for civil marriage ceremonies. The city hall was built on the site of a former convent. Guided tours, lasting about an hour, are available, though these need to be booked in advance by phone. A brand new city hall building was recently completed, situated right next to the historic old building, and the unique, modern design of the new contrasts very interestingly with the old. The two buildings now share the functions of the city hall and visitors will probably be divided over which building they find more interesting and aesthetically satisfying: the aggressively modern, which has colourful contemporary decor; or the ornate old, which is distinctly Baroque in its decor. The city is now well served by a combination of functional modern space and historic charm.
Telephone: +34 94 445 2828 (Reservations)